COX Plate plans for multiple Group One winning mare Mosheen have been abandoned and the rest of her spring campaign is in doubt.
Ballarat/Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon has also left Mosheen out of Sunday's Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield, a race that had been on her schedule since she came back into training.
A stellar autumn campaign in which she won three Group One races made Mosheen one of the most anticipated headline acts coming into the spring carnival.
But only a fortnight before she was due to resume a throat problem emerged that required surgery.
In her two subsequent runs Mosheen finished a moderate fifth in a Group Three mares race behind Detours on Saturday having been 13th to We're Gonna Rock at Flemington two weeks earlier.
Both races were over an unsuitably short 1200m, but in neither did she show any glimpse of the ability she displayed last spring when she won the VRC Oaks or in the autumn when she followed her Group One Australian Guineas win at Flemington with a Group One double in Sydney.
"Her last run was fair, but it's led us to reconsider our options," Smerdon said.
"She could be ring rusty and she's looking for further than the 1200 metres. I'm hoping it's both," Smerdon said.
"The point is, we have to think about where we're going in the longer term."
That destination had always been the Cox Plate.
"The thing is, the problem she had put a bigger hole in her preparation than I first thought. It basically cost her a month and we've been trying to catch up ever since." he said.
Only hours before the deadline for Cox Plate second declarations, Smerdon had been hopeful the Moonee Valley feature would still be on the cards.
But after discussion with connections it was decided to go no further.